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What Do You Do With Your Blog to Make it Stand Out from the Crowd?

Last week on Twitter I was asked by @southrngurl6489 the following question:

If you had to pick only one thing that makes a blog stand out from its peers, what would you pick and why?

I thought it’d be a good question to open up to a wider audience as its something I’ve touched on quite a few times over the last year or so and because what makes a blogger distinct is often, by definition, something that can vary from blog to blog.

What are you doing to make your blog stand out from the crowd? What have you seen other blogs do that makes them stand out?

Further Reading: Here’s a post I wrote on the topic earlier in the year – The Power of Uniqueness [19 Starting Points for Being a Unique Blogger]

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Phillip Gibb says:

    Two things:

    Dynamic and contextual information: Where I provide more information in tabs; sidebar and in the particular post in a way that is relevant to the post.

    The footer: highlight those who contribute and more personal info about myself in the form of videos and photos. Bust with this.

  2. Most of us are blogging on the same niche. To make it stand out from the crowd- be unique and write according to you own insights and feelings.

  3. I will do some changes in..

    1. Title of the post…

    2. Content with personal touch.

    3. Adding images to my post that should describes my whole post at one seeing

    4. Blog Themes

  4. Ben Klempner says:

    I would be short, concise, HELPFUL, and brutally honest. Exactly what I’m trying to do already!!!

  5. Maria Kirk says:

    1. Unique content
    2. Write about one niche topic per blog
    3. Design
    4. Check all links work correctly
    5. Relevent content
    6. Photo’s and Video’s

    I have read your book and gained a lot of information from that!!

  6. High quality content with useful applications written in accessible language and a personable style. Lots of reader involvement.

  7. DeeMarieF says:

    Question 1
    What are you doing to make your blog stand out from the crowd?

    My Internet “voice of choice” is the expose because my niche is dominated by licensed real estate professionals and banks. So you could say I’m elbowing my way through a mountain range of massive towering iceburgs to get to the front line in educating first time home buyers. The fact that I’m not motivated by selling them a house or a mortgage sets me apart. (I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on what I’m doing.)

    Question 2
    What have you seen other blogs do that makes them stand out?

    My #1 favorite thing is providing useful, actionable information. #2 is engaging with readers in a caring, respectful and appreciative way (both like here on problogger). I also like interviews, which is something else I’m considering doing.

  8. hillary says:

    *consistency
    *deep sense of honesty

    I’m not a big dog in the blogger world by any means, but my first project which is how I’ve learned everything has steadily grown these past 6 months and the feedback is amazing.

  9. Nick says:

    @OnTheRoadToSuccess Haha. My entire site is basically geared around what I had for dinner last night. Or many nights ago.

    What I had and how you can have it too!

    In my very overrun niche of food blogs I’d say you can stand out by:

    1) posting frequently
    2) having a unique voice
    3) being consistent with your message or slant on cooking.

  10. I’d say content, humor, personality, perspective, like-ability, and being bold and authentic. There are way too many blogs that are as boring as a loaf of Wonder Bread.

  11. Eric says:

    Personally I think it greatly varies by each person. Some may think content is what makes you stand out, your voice, your links, how often you post your articles, ect.

    I think just experimenting with what you want to strive for and keep up with things as you go makes you stand out.

    James over at the InfoPreneur.net is a great example and has by far stood out in the crowd but doesn’t act like he’s all that. He just does his thing and is damn good at what that thing is.

  12. vanae says:

    the personal-ness:

    from the design of the blog to the engagement with my V’stars (readers).

    it’s very gratifying and fun to connect with your audience in a real, genuine way.

  13. Gurl says:

    Whoa… Lots of thoughts here to ponder. But why does the whole niche thing keep coming up? While some niche blogs are awesome (like this one), I’m not comfortable with any ONE topic to always post about it.

    Do any of you think that a blog with no one topic other than the author speaking about things on their mind (sometimes a day in the life of type thing, other times anything from reviews to editorials on news…and even the occasional awesome new recipe tried tonight) has a niche?

    Is there anyone who does stand out in the blogosphere who’s blog is similar to what I described above? I am trying to think of examples myself, but I don’t read a lot of “A List” blogs.

    I am glad to see all these comments. Its definitely given me a good bit to think about.

  14. As editor of spiritnewsdaily.com, a blog covering non-dualistic news from around the world, content is still king.

    But as to marketing, I use hootsuite to announce my new posts via twitter that is then linked to my facebook fan page.

    Simple. basic. fundamentals. Just like John Wooden.

    donovan moore
    editor
    spiritnewsdaily.com

  15. Gabi says:

    #1 way I try to stand out is Flash

    I always aim to have really stunning photography, but that is more a pre-requisite on a food blog these days.

    I think (and have gotten feedback) that the flash centerpiece and photo driven front page really stands out because it is not the typical flowing text blog homepage.

  16. Dorothy Ray says:

    Using info on ppg 32-34 of PROBLOGGER, I’ve spent an enlightening morning looking at blogs re my intended niche.

    I learned I don’t want:
    1. Small type w/ few subtitles
    2. Crowded by ads
    3. Lack of white space and color
    4. Lots of verbiage with few visuals
    4. Dry words that don’t engage reader’s interest
    5. Many links that distract reader from main message
    6. Bulk of information aimed at lining blogger’s pocket, not helping reader solve her/his problem.

  17. In my personal experience, the thing that stands out most to me is the quality of design. I’m visually oriented, and seeing a polished and well put together blog is what really makes me smile and want to stick around.

    Obviously, the content needs to pique my interest as well, but definitely design first.

    Best,
    Marie P.

    http://www.affinityclick.com

  18. Beth Norman says:

    1. Provide weekly free tutorials. Recently tooted it as a “free on-line class” and stretched out the topic over a two month period. That alone doubled my viewers.

    2. I personally respond to everyone who leaves a comment. It surprises me I blow them away by doing so. By chit chatting with my readers, I get to know them on a more personal level.

    3. I post simple tips and tricks, and with all the research I do, readers think I’m extremely knowledgeable. I have learned that today’s readers do not want to research themselves so I do it for them.

  19. Steff Metal says:

    To stand out from the crowd: You have to be the blog that answers the questions all the other blogs in your niche don’t.

    I knew I wanted to start a blog about heavy metal. I researched all the popular and not-so-popular heavy metal blogs. I realised they all focused on music news, album reviews, or live show reviews. I didn’t think I had anything worthwhile to add to that discussion.

    What I am is a female in a sea of mostly-male metal bloggers, with a love of fashion and trashy media. So I did what no one else was doing: I made a metal blog geared towards women – a blog about heavy metal fashion, lifestyle and culture – the Cosmo magazine for headbangers.

    Plus, I get to write a whole magazine: the editorial, the in-depth feature stories, the fashion spreads, the book, album and movie reviews, the advice column, the cooking section … I’m never bored. It’s a bit like what Gurl was describing – a blog about everything that fits in a niche. Because it’s like the band manowar say “If you like metal, you’re my friend”.

    Some people think it’s silly, but my ever-growing traffic disagrees.

  20. Chris Roane says:

    I don’t think we necessarily need to keep all of our post confined to one “niche” topic. Covering multiple topics could bring a uniqueness to our blog that others lack. But it is worth saying that if you are trying to break into your field, it is easier to become well known for something specific instead of something general.

    I’m honestly still learning about this with my own blog. Part of me want to go all out with whatever subject I want to talk about, but that is probably not the way to go.

    Isn’t the one attribute that is unique with all of us is that there is no one exactly like us in the world? We are all unique in ourselves, and so if we let this come out in our blogs, we will stand out from the crowd.

  21. Cori Padgett says:

    For me, I look at design as well as the quality of the content itself. If the content is of poor quality then I won’t stick around, but if the content is stellar with a crappy design, I’ll still poke around a bit. If the content and the design are awesome and easy to nav, then you’ve got a fan. :)

  22. chandan says:

    I am trying to bring my blog top ten for some good keywords, if I can achieve that then I will think that my blog stand out from the crowd.

  23. FloorElf says:

    I have a really warped sense of humor. If you read anything I write you think one of two things:

    1. That’s the FloorElf – he has a really warped sense of humor
    2. Who the hell is this guy? He has a really warped sense of humor
    3. This guy is a jackass
    or
    4. That’s the FloorElf – he can’t count

    No matter which, it will usually stand out…I hope.

  24. My blog gets noticed by others because:

    1. It’s about a unique topic- Mom, Dad, and four (soon to be five) small kids, traveling and living abroad.
    2. It has a professional look, not just a blogger or wordpress blog
    3. I use lots media- video and photos.

    http://www.discovershareinspire.com

  25. Kat Eden says:

    Without even beginning to think about answering your question I just have to say I love the tone it sets. I’ve become so used to berating myself for all the things I’m doing wrong (mainly to do with never quite meeting my goal of a set amount of time for my blog and therefore never getting around to keyword optimising tags, categories, backlinking, basically most of the 31DBBB!)

    Buuuut – truth be told I guess I’m doing something write in terms of the way I connect with readers. Although my traffic is nowhere near where I’d like, I get excellent feedback from those that do drop by regularly. And most newbies stay.

    So I guess what makes me stand out is consistent posting (where in my niche random posting seems to be the norm) and content that is – for the most part – based on meeting readers needs. Nothing fancy, but it’s slowly but surely working!

  26. In January I did a month long harmonica basics program on youtube and now I am doing video interviews with local professional harmonica players asking for advise for new harmonica players.

    Video is makeing a big difference in engagement.

  27. i do nothing but wait and see.

    things will come out of it. It is an essence that has been made available through the internet that we can connect with personally, and let creativity…or stupidity run through out fingertips- into the net itself- viewable by the rest of the world.

    Some really out-stand. Some are vague and lost in the void of millions if not billions of sites you’ll never see in a lifetime. Those seo-less, 1 hit a day wonders. *tear*

  28. hokya says:

    usually, i update the post daily so the returning visitor won’t get bored with the content :D

  29. Whoa… Lots of thoughts here to ponder. But why does the whole niche thing keep coming up? While some niche blogs are awesome (like this one), I’m not comfortable with any ONE topic to always post about it.

  30. Kieran Daly says:

    ITS
    OFTEN JUST
    ABOUT THE VISUAL
    IMAGE THAT YOU PRESENT
    FOR INSTANCT IN ALL THESE
    COMMENTS AS YOU SCAN THROUGH
    THESE COMMENTS YOU LOSE FOCUS AS THEY
    ALL START TO LOOK THE SAME
    SO YOU NEED AN IDEA
    THAT STANDS OUT
    FROM THE
    OTHERS

  31. Blog about what is different then what everybody else is saying. Content is king garbage doesnt fly like it did last year. Times are changing people want real content they can stick their teeth into.

  32. scott says:

    I love the information that you offer I’d love an exchange of websites.

    http://sbiaffiliate.com

  33. r4 sdhc says:

    I think video blogging is a sure way to go. I also have to agree my niche in helping others to get out of debt is been well, a bit overdone.

  34. WhichBetter says:

    I think the most important thing is the way how the author sends to everyone the “message”.
    And also a good design can make the “difference”

  35. priya says:

    Im the author of the blog http://www.ladything.com
    As iam dealing with a specific niche i have given much importance to the content and design to suit the audience.
    Podcasting can be a revolution in future.Every blogger should speak to his audience thru words, pictures and even with voice and videos.

  36. Like some have already said, CONTENT is the one for me.

    I think it’s very easy to have a smart looking blog with custom made headers etc but if there is no content to draw readers in, then what’s the point.

    We can all create great looking blogs with a bit of effort but its what it contains that is key.

    Also, an easy to read and user friendly layout will always help.

    James

  37. Justin King says:

    “1. Original Niche
    2. Original Perspective/Opinion
    3. Original Content
    4. Original Design”

    Completely agree. Well put Raph.

  38. senthil says:

    Gr8 Post …I like the way you present your ideas.

    Sen
    http://www.enggcolleges.info

  39. seslichat says:

    things will come out of it. It is an essence that has been made available through the internet that we can connect with personally, and let creativity…or stupidity run through out fingertips- into the net itself- viewable by the rest of the world

  40. Jodi says:

    I have several blogs and I have found that you definitely stand out when you take the approach of NOT being an expert. I like to blog about my experiences learning a new skill or concept. Beginners love learning along with me, and experts like being part of the community and chipping in with their advice.

    So instead of always feeling pressured to know everything about your niche, you can make fun of yourself a bit, and you have TONS you can cover as you learn new things.

  41. Mo says:

    Don’t write what you think your readers want. Write what you want to write. In other words, don’t feel pressured to deliver what you think they want to deliver, which also takes the joy out of blogging.

  42. Kelly says:

    Trying to stand out in the ocean of “Mommy Blogs” has been a challenge for me. The title of my blog throws me into this category it seems by defacto, but I talk about more than just being a mom with humorous takes on kids, marriage and sports I love to play (speedskating and cycling).

    I strive to keep my content strong and I believe that is what keeps folks coming back. I only started blogging less than a year ago and the site continues to grow, which has been exciting!

    Thanks for this post- it shared some ideas that I will keep on the back burner!

  43. Tyler Davis says:

    You don’t have to make your blog stand out from the crowd. You just have to bypass the crowd.

    Every blogger is always looking for blogs to comment on so they can do this: http://thequestforheight.blogspot.com and pimp their blog.

    If I can find a small blog it’s a gold mine because I know if I comment on it they’ll probably do some looking around on my blog. If I find a large blog I know it’ll probably have lots of unique and interesting comments that people will take the time to read so if I had my comment on there I can pimp my blog out.

    How to stand out from the crowd? Reach out to bloggers who are always interested in having more readers and another place to advertise their blog.

  44. I think, or at least hope, one of the things that makes a blog stand out is the experience behind who’s writing it. If someone’s writing about something, let’s sure hope he/she has the background to back it up.
    And even though you have the expertise, showing some vulnerability helps. You may have some advice and answers, but no one has all the answers. Readers can relate to you if they see that.

  45. drt says:

    This is the same question that I keep asking myself. I’m specializing in providing wellness info to my readers. But that means I have to compete with the big boys out there. I think finding the latest info that will benefit a lot of people then providing the link to the mailing lists in such a way that is not considered as spam are the keys. But hey, my blog is less than a week old. However, I was delighted to see that in the last two days it picked up more than 150 people/day. My other blog seldom got that much visit even though it has been out there for 4 years. I still need to work hard or should I, more importantly, work smart on building my blog. I’m glad to find entries like this, Darren. Also, your 31DBBB is really a good reference. I think everyone who is serious about blogging should have that book.

    What do you think about using a strip of postage stamps story in my last posting? What do you think is missing from that post to make it stand out from the crowd? Also, do you think adding that video helps or hurts the value of the post?

    http://www.at-wellness.net/ed-and-heart-health/

    Thanks.

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